Monday, March 12, 2012

The (Latest) Last-Minute Mama Saga


I'm a last-minute-mama. There.  I said it. I don't mean to be, I just am. I'm always rushing around at the last minute, acting crazy. Even if I start "planning" weeks in advance, the execution is always just as the buzzer sounds.

My kid is a figure skater which isn't a really good match for a LMM. When it comes to costumes or props, they either need to be custom made or special ordered. Even the rhinestones and tights are "special". There is no "run by Walmart and grab something" in this sport. And if you want to avoid injury or just simple embarrassment, the skater needs time to actually skate with the prop or costume to make sure it'll work as intended.

I found myself with just a little over a week to create a costume for her Footloose routine that included skate covers that looked like cowboy boots - no easy task. They have to fit the skate boot exactly or they could trip her. Add in the fact that I don't sew very well and you've got a disaster in the making. Oh, I can picture in my mind what I want to stitch up, and in my head, it's simple. Until it's not.

I got the some pleather for the boots and I was hemming and hawing about the design. The pleather was a bit pricey so I was hesitating about making the first cut. I got the serger out, but couldn't quite remember how to thread it so that was another hesitation. We bought a jean jacket that needed to be painted and stoned (I'll do that "later", I told myself).  We bought a couple of shirts at the mall that didn't work well for skating and the jeggings were a bust, too. There's a lot of stretching and jumping and spinning. Street clothes just aren't designed for figure skaters.

Maybe I can make a blue jean skate skirt?  I don't remember much about the Footloose movie other than white tees, jeans, and boots.  (Not really flashy enough for a skate program.)  I remember there was a VW bug and a train, but those were not props I was willing to tackle.

Hem. Haw. I've still got a little over a week. And she'll be home for spring break and I'll use her as a living dress form since I don't have one, that'll help. The show isn't until the Saturday after spring break. Hold on...is it the Saturday after? Or the Saturday before? All the other skaters had their costumes and props on the ice this week...?  (check calendar) OMG!! It's the Saturday BEFORE! I have TWO days to make this happen!! There's NO WAY!

I had to tell her. My 12-year-old daughter. The one who has to go out to the center of the ice all by herself in front of a crowd of people and JUDGES who JUDGE her on her skating AND her costume that I got the date wrong. She needs to know now that there is probably no way I'll be able to make this happen for her.  That way she can get the crying over with and won't have to show her puffy eyes to the world. (Can you feel the mommy-guilt?) You know what she said? "I'm not worried. You always do your best work at the last minute."

And she was right.  Man, I love that kid!

I lost an entire day to a failed attempt at the boot covers and a sad, sad little blue jean skirt.  I ran short of the chosen pleather, made a high speed run to the fabric store only to find out they were sold out.  (Really?  Is pleather in high demand in March?)  Luckily, I found a different style that worked beautifully AND was marked down as a remnant. (Score!)  The second try on the covers worked, although you may notice in the picture that the tops of the boots weren't properly finished.  Since I wasted so many snaps on the first try, I ran short resulting in one boot cover with snaps underneath and one with safety pins.  (Whatever works, right?!) We found a skirted bathing suit bottom that is exactly like a skate skirt, stoned it & glittered it.  I cut up one of her favorite tank tops to create a rough pattern and adapted it so I could use with some shiny stretch fabric. The blue jean jacket got lots of stones, some glitter and paint, and we had a costume!  Whew!

As a mom, I'm always worried about sending my kid into adulthood without the life skills she needs.  This little saga has assured me that if nothing else, she knows how to roll with the punches and make it work.  Tim Gunn would be proud.  I know I am!

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